Pre-Millennium, Greenwich was barely given a second thought by Londoners. Enter the Millennium Dome (now the O2 Arena) and on any given weeknight you’ll find thousands of euphoric fans still singing as they pile onto the Jubilee line, long after the concert has ended.
Wanting to avoid the crowded tube? The InterContinental O2 has just opened its doors, and it is just metres from the Arena. As suited to leisure as it is to corporate guests, the vast hotel boasts 453 rooms, 59 swanky suites, 20 meeting rooms, a 3,100sq ft ballroom and 5 in-house bars and restaurants, all spread over 18 floors. Our favourite of these bars? Eighteen; a rooftop bar on the 18th floor (funny that) with panoramic views of the skyline the opposite side of the river. Guests of leisure can enjoy some downtime in the hotel spa or stay in the comfort of your room with room service. The most challenging decision of all? Which restaurant to dine in.
The Market Brasserie is their all-day dining offering – kick things off with perfectly cooked eggs, fresh juices and copious amounts of tea, all inspired by local food markets. Once breakfast has been digested you can spend a couple of hours (ok, maybe just one) in the state-of-the-art gym. Dress for lunch and settle yourself in to the Meridian Lounge, a relaxing space equally as right for sending a few emails as it is to catching up on the papers with a selection of homemade patisseries and spiced tea and coffee – inspired by Greenwich Peninsula’s rich trading history.
The hotel’s very own fine dining restaurant, Peninsula, is understated and ideal for evening. Request a table by the window so you can marvel at the lights across the river. Modern European cuisine is again inspired by the history of the location, with hints of spices to make things more exotic.
Clipper Bar, a Tea Salon by day (with 34 loose teas from The East India Company), is a sophisticated yet relaxed space by night, with 270 degree views across the river and homemade gin and tonics. Eighteen Sky Bar, as already mentioned, is a glamorous cocktail destination up on the 18th floor offering sushi, sashimi and steamed buns in addition to champagne, specialist wines and craft beer.
The highly attentive Concierge will help you plan your perfect stay but if you ask us, there’s really no reason to leave the hotel.
The InterContinental O2: 1 Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0TW, www.iclondon-theo2.com